Skip Navigation

Upcoming Events and Women's News

Bella Owens, President of the Baltimore County Commission for Women.

Thoughts from Bella Owens, President

March is Women’s History Month! March 8 is also designated as International Women’s Day. Started by the Suffragettes, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911 after so much unrest and debate was occurring among women. Women’s oppression and inequality pushed the women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay and voting rights.

Fast forward now to 2018, after 107 years we are still demanding for the same rights—minus the voting rights which was passed in 1920. But it is still the same, the demand for change.

We are all aware of how lately sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women have captured headlines and public discourse in every nook and cranny of America, a rising determination for change is again being demanded. There is the #MeToo movement, #TimesUp and every other hash tags of a movement.

The good news is that an unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice are making positive gains every day. The time is now—there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and to #PressforProgress than today. 2018 is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to really empower all women, and not just celebrate women.

There is a strong call to press forward and progress gender parity. I urge all of you to motivate your friends, colleagues and your community to think, act and be gender inclusive. Help us push for gender parity. Let us all #PressforProgress because after all #ProgressforWomen is #ProgressforAll

Bold for Change

The time for change is now and we are more than ready. Join us in being Bold for Change.

The Baltimore County Commission for Women sponsors events throughout the year. Plan to attend!

Diversity Dimension 2—an Interactive Discussion

diverse group of women

Do you want to move beyond simple tolerance, embrace rich dimensions of diversity and learn how to demand equality of treatment that we all deserve?

Have you ever felt limited in your efforts to achieve as a result of differences relating to your culture, race or religion?

Guest Panelist 

Join us in a safe, positive and nurturing environment presented in a unique forum with a select group of women ​who have experienced the challenges of these hurdles.


Registration is required by April 13.

Date, Location and Time of Event

Thursday, April 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Arbutus Branch of Baltimore County Library
855 Sulphur Spring Road, Arbutus Maryland 21227

More Information

Contact Nancy Surosky at 410-887-2450 or

Baltimore County Family Health Fun Fest

The Baltimore County Family Fun Fest will include games, a cooking demo, activities for kids, free snacks, vendors, raffles and prizes, and health screenings and information. 

Date, Location and Time of Event

Saturday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Randallstown Community Center
3505 Resource Drive, Randallstown, Maryland 21133

More Information

Contact Nancy Surosky at 410-887-2450 or

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

The Baltimore County Commission for Women is a community partner with the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC).

Help shatter the stigmas of sexual violence and domestic abuse. To encourage a dialogue and show support for survivors, GBMC will host its third annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®. Proceeds from this one-mile fun walk will support the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) and Domestic Violence program at GBMC. All men and women (whether wearing heels or not) are encouraged to participate in the walk and pre-party with food and prizes.


Learn more and register for the walk

Date, Location and Time of Event

Saturday, April 21
Pre-party begins at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9:30 a.m.
GBMC South Chapman Building
6545 North Charles Street, Towson, Maryland 21204 

In the News

Commission for Women Tasked to Created a Sub-Group to Coordinate Education and Criminal Justice Approaches on Human Trafficking

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced last month that the Baltimore County Commission for Women will establish a cross-functional work group to address the complex issue of human trafficking in coordination with the County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. The work group will take a victim-centered approach as they work to reduce trafficking and protect victims by providing them with the resources they need in partnership with a variety of organizations, including non-profits and regional counterparts across the state.

The work group will select a member to be a permanent member of the County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) and the Chair of the CJCC will approve the membership of the work group, which will be comprised of a team of professionals and individuals from the Commission for Women and representatives from law enforcement, education, social services and the health and legal fields. Individual members must be County residents with a proven history and involvement in public advocacy. 

Maryland Legislative Agenda

Status of 2018 Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women

HB 1-SB 2 Rape Survivor Family Protection Act

Five percent of rape victims of reproductive age (age 12 to 45) became pregnant as a result of rape, with the majority of pregnancies in adolescents. The Rape Survivor Family Protection Act would create a legal process for rape victims to terminate the parental rights of rapists when a child is conceived as result of rape. Victims would be required to meet a clear and convincing standard of evidence. This is the same standard used for other termination of parental rights cases—no more, no less.

Status: Approved by the Governor

HB 301-SB 270 Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act

Maryland law strictly limits introduction of evidence of other sex crimes in sex assault and child molestation trials, making it extremely difficult to rebut false consent defenses or allegations that a child victim is lying. This legislation will enable prosecutors to introduce evidence of a defendant’s sex crimes and allegations of sex crimes against different victims, in addition to introducing this type of evidence in cases with the same victim (as established by the Maryland Judiciary). This legislation requires a thorough judicial review before the evidence can be used. The state must file a motion to introduce the evidence at least 90 days before trial. The court must hold a closed door hearing to determine the admissibility of the evidence allowing the defense to challenge evidence’s admissibility. The court must find that the evidence meets clear and convincing evidence standards. The court may also consider factors related to similarities between evidence the state wishes to admit and the trial offense. 

Status: Ongoing

SB 491-HB 1303 Final Permanent Protective Orders

Current law requires that to obtain a final permanent protective order, the respondent must be convicted of certain crimes listed in the statute, sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment for at least five years that led to the issuance of the final protective order, and served at least 12 months of the sentence. The proposed legislation deletes the list of crimes for which the respondent must be convicted, sentenced and serve at least one year of the sentence, and replaces the list of crimes with the words “any crime.”  With this modification, a victim will not be limited to the specific crimes listed in the current law, but will be able to petition for a final permanent protective order if the respondent has been convicted of any crime where the person eligible for relief has been the victim of a crime committed by the respondent.

Status: Ongoing

SB 869-HB 1267 Motion to Vacate Judgment—Human Trafficking

Victims of human trafficking are commonly arrested and convicted for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers. In response to this injustice, Maryland became the second state in the county to pass a law allowing survivors of sex trafficking to vacate, or, set aside, their prostitution convictions. Since then, anti-trafficking advocates throughout the country have documented that survivors of trafficking are regularly charged with numerous offenses other than prostitution, and that labor trafficking survivors also experience criminalization tied to their victimization. In Maryland, however, access to this innovative form of legal relief remains limited only to survivors of sex trafficking who are convicted of prostitution. The proposed change in law will expand Maryland’s current vacatur law to apply explicitly to survivors of labor trafficking, as well as expand the number of crimes eligible for vacatur. Without these changes, Maryland’s vacatur law will continue to leave a large number of survivors without the legal relief they so desperately need to heal from the trauma of their exploitation and become productive members of their communities.

Status: Ongoing

SB 629-HB 787 Pregnant Inmates—Medical Care

This bill would require all state, local, and private detention and corrections facilities to have written policies regarding healthcare services for adult and juvenile pregnant inmates. The legislation would leave the authority to determine and write the policies up to the state, county, or private facility, but would require that the policies address specific subjects (this list is still in development and may change): pregnancy testing, pregnancy options counseling, prenatal care, prenatal testing and counseling, access to abortion care, miscarriage management, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. In addition, it would require all state, local, and private detention and corrections facilities to provide these written policies to all adult and juvenile inmates and detainees with positive pregnancy test results.

Status: Ongoing

HB 1109 Discrimination in Employment—Conditions

The bill clarifies that employers are required to give reasonable accommodations to all pregnant employees with a medical need for an accommodation, not just employees who need accommodations as a result of pregnancy complications, and it ensures that a pregnant employee won’t be forced to take paid or unpaid leave when a reasonable accommodation would allow her to continue to work and support her family.

Status: Ongoing

HB 512-SB 377 Pay Scales and Wage History Information

Women and minorities are typically isolated in lower paying professions. Therefore, basing salary offers on past employment continues a discriminatory cycle. Also, past employment pay have no relevancy to the current position. Salary offers should be based in current position requirements as well as the skills and experience of the candidate. This bill prevents employers from requiring past salary information as a condition of employment.  

Status: Ongoing


For more information, email or call 410-887-3448.

Revised March 1, 2018         


Did This Page Help?
Fields marked with * are required.
Page Rating*